Rural development depends on women

Paula Hernandez, right, in an HCT workshop

For more than 20 years, ViviendasLeón’s mission has been to eliminate poverty in rural communities. Women’s empowerment has been a fundamental pillar in the realization of our mission. Overwhelmingly, rural women have led in the implementation and success of our training, food security and small business programs, and have made it possible to visualize the contribution women provide as the central engine that can transform their communities.

”My name is Paula Hernandez, I live in the Piedrera-Troilo neighborhood of rural Sutiaba. I have been a single parent to my children since my husband passed away many years ago. I have worked hard ever since: To make ends meet I made natural fresh and sliced bananas to sell, and soup on Sundays for many years. A few months ago I began participating in the program for women that the organization ViviendasLeón provides called HCT or Human Capacity Training.

I am now several months into the program. I have learned a lot and have been organizing and training with other women who attend the meetings. The self-esteem topics that are taught have helped me improve my personal strength. It has helped me feel like a revalued woman. Today I have better confidence and self-assurance, at the same time I have overcome negative situations from the past. I know now that rural women are not alone, we have the support of organizations and our neighbors in the community willing to give us a helping hand and support.”

Paula Hernandez

Paula Hernandez has received materials for a family farm, so that she can grow and sell vegetables that she herself will produce. Additionally, her daughter Dinia Amador Hernandez is now attending school full time on a scholarship from VL, which will allow her to successfully complete her studies, be able to pursue a university degree and have a  profession.  Her success will directly contribute to the stability of the social and economic future of her family and community.